Saturday, November 12, 2011

Punta Fuego and Puerto Galera

We finally left Subic Bay after 4 months of hard work.  It is great to be back to our cruising life again.    Our first stop was in Bananag Bay just 5 miles from the Subic Bay Yacht Club and a nice anchorage just to have a few hours to decompress.    In the morning we left for the 40 mile trip down the coast to Punta Fuego which is where the very wealthy Filipinos have 2nd homes and is an exclusive country club.    We anchored in front of their small marina and paid a visit.  When we asked about taking the shuttle up to the "hotel" we were told by the young woman that the hotel was a country club and the shuttle was for members only.   A man was standing next to her, Ed, , after just coming in on his boat, and told her they must welcome visitors and immediately sponsored us and told us we could have full use of the facilities.    He then got the marina manager, introduced us and put him at our disposal if we needed anything.   He also invited us to stay and asked us to join in their regatta that weekend.   After that we just decided to have a quick lunch at the seaside cafe and when we went to pay the bill found out that Ed had paid it already.    What a nice person and place and a great start to our cruise through the Philippine Islands.
Cruiser Notes:   Anchor location:  (14 07.7N; 120 35.4E)  Fuel dock and ice

Puerto Galera

Puerto Galera, a beautiful bay on the NE tip of Mindoro is a favorite spot for cruisers.   The bay is a UNESCO Biosphere site and voted one of the most beautiful bays in the world.    There is the delightful Puerto Galera Yacht Club which is very welcoming to cruisers.   You can anchor in the bay around the corner from Muelle Bay or pick up one of the yacht club moorings.    We just enjoyed the surrounds here and took a little tricycle trip into Sabang for an afternoon one day.     Puerto Galera is a bit more laid back than Sabang.   I took a tricycle trip to Talinapan Village which was 10 or so kilometers away and west of White Beach.    The village is a project started by the Ayala Foundation which builds native homes for the Iraya people coming down from the hills.     The homes are very basic, no electric or running water.  They have a community bath house and toilet and have a few community gardens.  While I was wandering around,  a man showed up in t-shirt, baseball cap, big camera and with a guide so naturally I thought he was a tourist.    I passed him and we started chatting.   Turned out he was Don Jaime Zoreb de Ayala himself, the wealthiest man in the Philippines, a billionaire a couple times over.  It was he and his wife  who started the foundation which supports the building of the houses in this village.
The Iraya people are known for their basket works which are unique, beautiful and very hard to resist.

Cruiser Notes:   Mooring:12 30.2N; 120 57.2E    Watch out for reefs!!    Mooring was 300 p per night which included use of the service boat, water, showers, and using the club restaurant.   Laundry in town on the main road just behind the waterfront, market down the hill into the main town.    Fuel by tricycle taxi.

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